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Turnkey Solar Installations for Business in Arizona

Have you considered solar energy as a way to give your business an edge? Some Arizona business owners may wonder if the benefits are worth the costs, but there's never been a better time for companies to make the switch. Today’s solar technology is more efficient than ever, and many government and utility initiatives are available to offset the cost of installation.

With a commercial solar system installation, no matter what industry you’re in, you'll see a return on your investment quickly.

Empire Renewable Energy has a long history of helping small businesses and other commercial clients choose the solar energy solution that’s right for them. For 65 years, Empire has been committed to quality products, excellent service and superior workmanship. We are an official commercial SunPower dealer and offer both turnkey solar installations and various individual services for businesses large and small. From rooftop systems to ground-mounted solar installations, many different configuration options are available to meet your space requirements.

Configuration Options

Our Experience Working With Commercial Solar Installations

Since 2008, we have been helping Arizona businesses adopt solar energy solutions tailored to their space and budget considerations. We've installed various solar configuration types ranging in size from 30 kW to more than 100 kW to multi-megawatt systems. We've completed projects for businesses in many sectors, including healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing and more.

Our team, which includes some of Arizona's solar energy pioneers, has experience in all aspects of distributed energy, including engineering, fabrication, installation, maintenance and technical support. We've partnered with leading manufacturers to offer only the highest-quality solar product to our valued customers.

The Benefits of Solar Installations for Businesses

We've all heard about how good switching to solar energy is for the environment. Generating solar power doesn't release greenhouse gases or pollutants like fossils fuels do. The energy's environmental attributes are certainly one of its most attractive features, but solar also provides benefits directly to the businesses that install it.

Benefits of Solar Installations for Business

  • Lower energy bills: Why buy all your energy from a utility company when you can start generating some of what you use yourself? When you install solar panels for your business, you can cut down your energy bills significantly. If you produce more than you use, you may even be able to sell the excess.

  • Tax credits: Solar can also reduce your expenses by making you eligible for various business tax credits. On the federal level, you may be able to take advantage of a 30 percent corporate tax credit. The state of Arizona also offers several incentives, including solar panel tax credits of up to $25,000 for each building and a total of $50,000 per business annually.

  • Improved reputation: Corporate responsibility is becoming increasingly important, and customers today want to patronize businesses that are environmentally responsible. Many consumers are even willing to pay more for products from companies that are environmentally friendly. Going solar can improve your reputation and boost your sales.

  • Reliability: The price of energy fluctuates over time, but it's especially unpredictable if it comes from fossil fuels. The cost of energy from petroleum can vary widely based on supply and demand as well as political events. Oil, natural gas and coal are also finite resources. The sun, however, will continue to shine no matter what happens in economics or politics. You can protect your company from common volatility by producing some of your energy with a renewable resource.

  • Savings over time: Many variables, such as the size of your installation, how much energy you produce and how much you use, impact how long it takes to see a return on your investment. Although installing solar comes with some upfront costs, over time, this investment will pay for itself several times over.

Types of Solar Installations for Businesses

Many different types of solar installations exist, and one of them will likely be perfect for your organization's needs. We have experience with all of these solar configurations and can help you find the ideal fit for your site.

Roof-Mount

Roof-mount solar installations are the most well-known type in use today. These installations involve affixing solar panels to the existing roof of a building. The more roof space you have, the more you can install, so this configuration is perfect for large structures such as universities, high schools and manufacturing facilities — as long as they have consistent access to sunlight.

Roof-Mount for Universities, High Schools and Manufacturing Facilities

Pole-Mount

Pole-mount solar configurations are standalone installations attached to a pole in an open, outdoor space. They're useful if you have a substantial amount of unused outdoor area and aren't worried about aesthetics, as many consider them somewhat unsightly. Pole-mount installations are most often found in agricultural settings or on large business campuses, such as those used by manufacturers, healthcare companies and universities.

This variety of solar installation is perfect for supplementing roof-mounted solar panels. Another benefit is the flexibility they offer since you can position them anywhere you like. Some models can even follow the sun for increased efficiency.

Ground-Mount

Ground-mounted solar is similar to pole-mounted in that it's a standalone system installed in an open, outdoor space. The main difference is that it uses a rack placed closer to the ground, which can improve aesthetics since the panels are less visible from a distance due to their low position. This version does mean, though, that you have less room to tilt the panels, so they work best in a large, open space that gets plenty of sunlight.

Like pole-mounted systems, you typically find ground-mount installations on agricultural sites. They might also be an ideal solution if your business happens to have a large amount of unused, open space, such as a former parking lot.

Pole-mount vs. Ground-mount

Solar Shelter

Solar shelters are a unique way to use existing space to generate renewable energy. This installation involves placing solar panels on the roof of a pavilion, gazebo or other small structure like you would with a more extensive roof-mounted system. Because these roofs are smaller, the installations can't produce as much energy as a roof-mount system. However, they provide an excellent opportunity to reduce energy costs without a major upfront investment.

Any organization that has a small outdoor structure can use this type of configuration. Solar shelters are common at parks and other recreational areas that typically have these types of structures.

Parking Lot Solar Canopy

Take full advantage of your parking lot space with a parking lot solar canopy. If you have a covered parking area or plan to build one, you can install a solar system on the roof to increase its usefulness. Because parking structure roofs are usually flat, the panels will be out of the way. You can also use either fixed panels or ones that tilt to follow the sun.

Parking Lot Solar Company for Malls, Airports, Office Parks and Hospitals

Any business with a large parking area covered with a roof can benefit from a parking lot solar canopy. Organizations that often use this type of system include malls, airports, office parks and hospitals.

Solar Shade Awnings

Solar shade awnings provide a way to generate smaller amounts of electricity with minimal investment and disruption. In this style of installation, solar panels act as awnings on the side of a building. In addition to generating electricity, they provide a shaded area. They may also, depending on their position, block sunlight from entering windows, helping to keep your building cool.

These systems work well on any commercial building that has an outer wall with exposure to the sun. They can serve as a supplement to roof-mount panels or be your only source of solar power. Because urban areas often have too much shade and rural locations have the land to install ground-mount or pole-mount panels, you often find solar awnings in regions that are in between urban and rural. You might see them on retail stores, small office buildings and schools.

Detached Garages

Detached garages and other small structures present a perfect opportunity to install solar panels, especially when roof-mounts and standalone panels aren't an option. If a business can't or doesn't want to modify its main building, it can still get the benefits of solar by using a detached garage. These systems are also ideal for complementing rooftop mounts.

Any organization with a detached garage could potentially use this type of solar installation. Typical locations for these solar energy installations include college campuses, K-12 schools, hotels, recreational facilities, healthcare campuses and retail stores.

Building-Integrated Photovoltaic System

If you want the benefits of solar power for your business but prefer a subtler look, consider a building-integrated photovoltaic system. With this install, PV cells, which generate electricity, are integrated directly into the building's roofing, window or scaffolding. While this install is more involved than an add-on system, it's often considered more visually appealing and allows for more surface area and increased exposure to sunlight.

Because it's integrated directly into the structure, this system typically only works for new buildings. If you're planning to design a new building that will have roof space with access to sunlight, you may be a candidate for a building integrated PV system.

Benefits of Building-Integrated Photovoltaic System

Commercial Solar System Applications: Businesses That Can Benefit

Almost any business with a property that has exposure to sunlight can benefit from a solar system. We can help you figure out what type of system will work best for your company's needs and provide either turnkey or customized solar solutions, including maintenance and support.

We've installed solar projects for a wide variety of businesses. Here are just a few of the types of companies that can benefit from commercial solar energy systems.

Education

The education sector, from K-12 to higher education, is a perfect candidate for solar power. Many schools have broad, flat roofs, and college campuses often have parking garages, both of which are ideal for solar panel installation. One of the major benefits of solar panels for schools is reduced energy costs, but they also provide an exciting opportunity for students to learn about solar energy, one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Solar Energy fastest-growing industries in the US

According to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 3,752 K-12 schools in the U.S. have solar installations, which have a total value of $77.8 million. Arizona has already started taking advantage of the benefits of solar. SEIA ranks it as the number three state in the country for installed solar at K-12 schools. We've contributed to that with multiple projects, including contributions to the Green Schoolhouse Series, which provides schoolhouses to disadvantaged public schools.

Warehouses and Storage Facilities

Warehouses and storage facilities also tend to have large, flat roofs, making them ideal candidates for solar installations. Various large corporations have started installing solar panels on their warehouse roofs. Amazon says it plans to add solar panels to 50 of its facilities by 2020, which could get up to 80 percent of their energy from the sun.

Amazon plans to add solar panels to its facilities by 2020

Solar energy is also perfect for smaller operations, such as self-storage companies, recycling centers and other industrial facilities. We've installed solar for these types of buildings before, including a 2,430.2 MW system for a cold storage warehouse.

Retail and Shopping Centers

Solar energy is a great fit for many retail businesses, both big and small. Installing panels at your retail site can help reduce your operating costs, resulting in savings that you can pass on to your customers. The environmental benefits will also improve your reputation, helping you to attract new customers, employees and investors.

A solar system combined with battery storage or a micro-grid may also be able to keep your lights on, even in the event of a power outage. We've installed solar panels at many of our own facilities, including sales, service and rental locations.

Hotels and Recreational Facilities

Help keep your guests comfortable and happy while reducing your costs with solar installations for your hotel or recreational facility. These types of establishments can gain immense benefits from solar due to their high energy use for lighting, heating, air conditioning, hot water, cooking and more.

Hotels and recreational facilities often have large, flat roofs, pavilions and storage sheds, all of which could serve as ideal locations for solar panels. Even if you don't want to alter your main building, you can still get the benefits of renewable energy for your business by utilizing smaller structures like pavilions, pool sheds and garages.

case study from the U.S. Department of Energy highlights the benefits of a solar-powered hotel. It details the story of a California hotel that wanted to prove that luxury and sustainability could go hand in hand. The local government wouldn't allow roof-mounted solar panels installed at an angle, so the hotel installed them lying flat.

Guests stay at environmental friendly hotels

This flat installation is less efficient but creates a sleek, integrated look. The panels now produce about half of the hotel's energy, and the company expects the panels to pay for themselves in six to eight years. 10 percent of the hotel's guests say they choose to stay there because of its environmental friendliness.

Healthcare

With their large rooftops, expansive campuses and high energy demand, healthcare facilities are a perfect candidate for solar installations. Many larger properties have various options for the type of solar configuration they can use, including roof-mount, pole-mount and parking lot canopy. Solar is also ideal for smaller facilities like clinics and doctor's offices.

Solar-powered hospitals have started popping up around the world because of the cost reduction and increased reliability they offer. Much of Syria's energy infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged in the conflict taking place there, so facilities such as hospitals often have to rely on diesel generators. Fuel shortages, though, sometimes leave them without sufficient power. A solar installation at one hospital there may help to solve this problem by providing enough energy to run the emergency department, intensive care unit and operating rooms for 24 hours without any diesel.

When you run a healthcare service organization, you need reliable energy. Empire has the knowledge to design a solar solution that meets your needs and ensure that those panels are functioning properly, generating power you can depend on.

Restaurants and Food Service

The food services sector can benefit greatly from solar installations. Restaurants use electricity for lighting, heating water, cooking and more. Since restaurants are usually smaller than some of the other facilities mentioned previously, they can get started with solar with a smaller up-front investment but still realize cost savings over time.

Coasterra, a waterfront Mexican restaurant in San Diego, uses a terrace made of photovoltaic solar glass to generate a third of the restaurants' energy and provide shade for its patio dining area, according to a story in Restaraunt Business magazine.

Similarly, restaurant owners in Chicago installed five solar panels atop each of their locations. These panels provide enough energy to heat all of their hot water, which goes to show that the flexibility of solar makes it ideal for food service businesses of all types and sizes. Empire can help you discover the perfect solar solution for your Arizona restaurant or food service company.

Manufacturing and Processing Plants

Manufacturing and processing plants typically require a lot of energy, and they need to be able to rely on a consistent energy source to avoid shutdowns. Solar panels can provide you with that dependable energy and help lower your utility costs.

Solar energy is dependable energy for lower utility costs

Industrial facilities typically have large, flat roofs and may also have access to open areas where they can install pole-mount or ground-mount panels. Aesthetics also tend to be less of a priority at industrial facilities, so you can instead focus on efficiency and performance, enabling you to make the most of your solar installation. We've installed a 69.3 kW system for a metal recycling center in Phoenix and a 299.3 kW system at the Empire Machine Shop in Prescott.

Trust Empire for Commercial Solar System Installation in Arizona

If you want to bring the benefits of solar to your Arizona business, you need a solar company you can trust. Look no further than Empire. We have the expertise to help you through every step of the process, from site planning and system design to installation and maintenance. We offer both turnkey setups and individual services. Our solar team has more than 120 years of combined experience in all areas of distributed energy along with the skills to take on both familiar tasks and new challenges.

We're also an authorized SunPower dealer, which means we provide some of the longest-lasting, best-performing solar panels on the market. SunPower modules have a 40-year lifespan and an operating efficiency of as much as 24 percent, meaning you'll get an improved return on your investment and more reliable energy production as compared to other panel types.

Our helpful and knowledgeable team is ready to help you find your perfect solar solution. Contact us today with any questions you may have, and request a free quote here.

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